Inadequate information

esoxlucius

Redtail Catfish
Original poster
MFK Member
Dec 30, 2015
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We seem to be getting into a rather frustrating trend at the minute regarding people who are posting problems in relation to their fish. I know i'm not the only person who's picked up on it because several members have mentioned it within posts. Notably thebiggerthebetter thebiggerthebetter in a recent thread where he directed the OP to a past sticky regarding what i'm on about.

I refer to the basic details that we all need to know about a posters tank and their habits regarding maintainance schedule etc etc etc. Very basic but extremely important information if any of us are to get a handle on what's going on with their situation.

Even with all the info it can sometimes be very difficult to pin point what's going on. But without vital parts of the jigsaw it can become total guesswork. Lack of info may have different members offering lots of different advice which in itself is going to confuse the OP.

Do we continue with these frustrating threads where, often, new important info is released by the OP as the thread goes on, and then we all start guessing in a new direction, or can something be done about it so all the vital stuff we need to know has to be in the OP's initial post?

I was thinking of some kind of template where a poster has to fill in various fields of information. If ALL fields are not filled in then the poster will simply be reminded that certain info is missing. They can review their post and add the missing info, very much like the systems you see when shopping on amazon for instance.

I don't know how feasible this is Chicxulub Chicxulub

What do all you guys think?
 

krichardson

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I haven't figured out how to post links via my phone but I seem to recall a thread that addressed this and similar complaints.
 

Chicxulub

Hand of the King
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I can absolutely add required fields, similar to what I did in the Marketplace. If this is something the community feels is necessary, we can make it happen.

The only reservation I have is what to add and where? I don't want to put blanket requirements on the entire forum, because one shoe doesn't fit all as they say.

I know a noob popping up with a thread that consists entirely of "hey my fish has white stuff on its fins, what do I do?" while ignoring tank size, filtration, parameters and even the type of fish in question is frustrating, but in the end conversation is good. So long as this noob isn't being hostile when asking for help, even if they're ignorant as to what should be included, I don't really see it as a problem if they don't yet know how to ask a question on MFK. Everyone was ignorant of our decorum once.

That being said, I'll allow this conversation to play out a bit before I issue a final ruling on the matter. I'd like to hear the thoughts and suggestions of my senior MFKers. I'm here to keep this community on the rails and make life easier for you guys- but that includes our noobs, too.

I'll be reading....
 

esoxlucius

Redtail Catfish
Original poster
MFK Member
Dec 30, 2015
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UK
I haven't figured out how to post links via my phone but I seem to recall a thread that addressed this and similar complaints.
Yeah, I think you might be referring to the links that viktor referred to. They were very old and very good posts by "lupin" and "oddball", both stickies I think in different parts of the forum.

However, it's alright reminding people to post the correct info, but eventually it will slip, as we're seeing now. On the other hand, If the OP isn't actually allowed by the actual forum to post his thread which is full of holes info wise, then that's another story.

Like I said, I don't know how feasible it is, but I feel it needs addressing one way or the other. Further down the line people are going to give up guessing and just ignore threads from hobbyists with problems. The adopted attitude may be, well if they can't be bothered posting basic info, then why should we waste any time helping them.

I don't think the forum wants to go down that route.
 
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deeda

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Mar 26, 2008
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Medina, Ohio
I think I'm one of those people that are always asking a member, especially a new one, basic info on their tank setup, including water parameters, both source (tap) and tank as well as tank size, tank mates, what is different now from then, etc. and sometimes I feel like a broken record because to me these are important details to know before members can offer good advice.

I know there are or were a couple Stickies that all members could look at to help provide that info but it seems to get lost by the wayside most times as either no one looks for them or don't take the time to provide the pertinent info.

It would be interesting to at least try a basic info template if it wasn't too difficult or if members decide it's not a worthwhile project.
 

thebiggerthebetter

Gold Tier VIP
MFK Member
Dec 31, 2009
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We need the input of the seasoned MFKers routinely answering questions in the Diseases Forum, like RD. RD. and Aquanero Aquanero . They would be the best positioned to comment. Albeit I am with Esox and Deeda, it gets repetitive. In the last month I had to cite the two links to Lupin's and Oddball's threads half a dozen times.

I am of the opinion of agreeing with Esox but the list of required fields does not have to be exhausting, e.g. the following fields may be made required (not necessarily all numbers but allow for explaining words or i don't know):

-- ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH by a liquid test tube kit, such as the API f/w master kit
-- ideally KH, GH, and TDS or a general indication of water softness / hardness and TDS
-- temp
-- description of aeration and stirring
-- filter type, size, flow
-- tank size and time of running
-- fish size, tank mates, size, interactions, time of owning
-- whether the fish are wild caught, dewormed or not, treated against other parasites or not, prior health history of fish, of tank mates
-- photos of the entire tank and closeups of the fish

Now that I have put it down it sounds a lot... maybe?
 

deeda

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Mar 26, 2008
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Medina, Ohio
It sounds like a lot but it is still the basics IMO and those are the questions that most members ask anyway eventually. It would be nice to have it in the original poster's 1st post so members don't have to sift through multiple posts where it might be missed if it's already been answered.
 

esoxlucius

Redtail Catfish
Original poster
MFK Member
Dec 30, 2015
1,682
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UK
In an ideal world every single bit of info we need would be in the very first post of the thread. We then have all the tools to try and fix the job as it were in double quick time. No back and forth with the same old questions for twenty odd posts before we make inroads.

However, I can also understand that it might be a bit daunting for a newbie, or anyone else for that matter to firstly fill in a damn form before the system will allow your post through. I mean, who likes filling forms in!

And Chicxulub Chicxulub has a good point when he says as long as the OP isn't hostile then conversation leading up to a diagnosis is good. After all, it's a forum, and we chew the fat.

So part of me is saying let it lie and carry on and another part shivers when I think about the next thread that comes along and all the familiar questions get dragged out by the same old members before we're even close to getting anywhere.

Anyway, at least the problem has got to the discussion stage, which is a start.
 

fishhead0103666

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
May 14, 2018
4,360
4,027
154
This may be a stupid idea but lend me your ear if but only for a moment.

What about a little notification that came up each time you started a new thread (or perhaps in certain areas) where it asks something like "Please take a moment to look at the following threads to provide the necessary information for us to better help you" then it has a few links to threads where it would help people know the information they need to provide.
 

Ogertron3000

Aimara
MFK Member
Nov 6, 2017
675
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Australia
We need the input of the seasoned MFKers routinely answering questions in the Diseases Forum, like RD. RD. and Aquanero Aquanero . They would be the best positioned to comment. Albeit I am with Esox and Deeda, it gets repetitive. In the last month I had to cite the two links to Lupin's and Oddball's threads half a dozen times.

I am of the opinion of agreeing with Esox but the list of required fields does not have to be exhausting, e.g. the following fields may be made required (not necessarily all numbers but allow for explaining words or i don't know):

-- ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH by a liquid test tube kit, such as the API f/w master kit
-- ideally KH, GH, and TDS or a general indication of water softness / hardness and TDS
-- temp
-- description of aeration and stirring
-- filter type, size, flow
-- tank size and time of running
-- fish size, tank mates, size, interactions, time of owning
-- whether the fish are wild caught, dewormed or not, treated against other parasites or not, prior health history of fish, of tank mates
-- photos of the entire tank and closeups of the fish

Now that I have put it down it sounds a lot... maybe?
This is probably a bit too much for a first post. Remember a lot of new members are totally inexperienced and come here for help. It's possible they don't even know what half these things are. I think water parameters, tank size , filtration and tank mates are a decent start.
There's several members who tend to always answer all these type of sick fish questions which is commendable but , and I don't mean to sound rude or blunt, if it's a drag or frustrating then maybe don't respond. It's nice that you want to help but it shouldn't be a chore or irritation, maybe take a break from it until you get the vibe again.
I too find it very annoying when I see the question posted "what are your parameters " and constantly see the answer "water is fine". If I was trying to help I'd Be tearing my hair out too to have to ask this several times a week.
 
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